Coleraine’s league ambitions suffered a setback at the weekend but the team are still firmly focussed on a top two finish to the season.
A tricky encounter away to table toppers Carrickfergus ended in a 21-6 loss as the home side made the better of the tricky weather conditions on the day.
Things were finely poised at the break with Carrick enjoying a narrow 5-3 advantage but the home side proved the stronger and rounded off the match with a strong scoring performance.
Coach Richard Boyd said after the game: “We were very disappointed with the result and performance but the boys worked hard in very poor conditions.
“Our discipline was very poor and we didn’t use the wind effectively.
“The loss of Brian Hughes and Josh Christie during the week was a massive blow and caused disruption to our line-out and game plan.
“Carrick are a well drilled and organised side.
“They played the conditions better and deserved the win.
“They are now in a great position and will take some catching but we will keep our focus on a top two finish.
“We have been on a great run in recent weeks and we will look to get back to winning ways at home next week against Donaghadee“.
In the match the teams had to contend with strong cold wind, occasional showers and a sodden heavy pitch.
Coleraine played with the wind in the first half but when given the chance in the second, Carrick made more effective use of the wind advantage.
Coleraine made most of the attacking moves throughout the first half but failed to capitalise on them.
Captain Mikey Poskitt claimed three points from a penalty within four minutes. 0-3
With just over half an hour on the clock Carrick attacked with a rolling maul and scored an unconverted try. 5-3
The second half saw Carrick score from two penalties, 12 minutes and 18 minutes into the half, as they pressed home their advantage, playing with the wind. 11-3
Coleraine were active and attacking throughout the half and just before the half hour Poskitt again claimed three from a penalty. 11-6
Carrick responded five minutes later with another penalty. 14-6
With five minutes to go Coleraine were on the attack into the Carrick half when a chip forward was charged down by Carrick leading to a score out on the wing.
The difficult conversion was on target bringing the final score to 21-6
This weekend Coleraine Firsts are again in league action, at home to Donaghadee. The Seconds travel to Ballynahinch 4s and the Thirds travel to Hinch 7s.